Calçots with Romesco
The calçot is a variety of spring onion that is very typical of Catalonia, especially in the southern areas. It is prepared between the months of January and March which is its harvest season.
The calçot has been found to have a significant content in anti-carcinogenic compounds.
First of all the charcoal grill or fire has to be prepared. Some dry branches are arranged and set alight and left until only the glowing coals are left.
Clean the calçots, removing their top layer which usually has some earth on it. Cut the roots and a little bit of the green leaf. The calçots are placed on the grill and cooked slowly with the heat from the coals. Once charred on the outside they are removed and wrapped in newspaper to retain the heat.
For the sauce: first of all, the tomatoes and garlics have to be roasted. Meantime we leave the peppers to soak for about 5 minutes and then remove the skin, keeping the water. In a pot we place the tomatoes, garlic, peppers, the half-teaspoonful of pepper and blend everything together adding a generous amount of oil, a pinch of salt and a small drizzle of vinegar, and we leave it to cool.
Grind the almonds and hazelnuts and add to the mixture when cool. We blend it all again and if it is too thick we add a little of the water that was used for soaking.
It is traditional to serve the calçots in a ceramic roof tile called teula.